Sledge Hammer

Column Post by Kelly Heuer

I want to quit. I want to walk away from all that I’m doing outside my family. Really and truly, in this moment, I just want to throw my hands up and say, “Forget it! I’m done!” You know, really melt down into full blown diva mode and shriek, “What’s my motivation here, people?”

I’ve been here before. This is not a new place. I’m sure you’ve all been here, too, at one point or another. But oddly, this is a new sensation: It feels as though each and every step forward can only be accomplished by sledge-hammering a wall directly in front of me.

Each step brings a new wall.

Each wall torn down reveals yet another one behind it.

Can I please put aside this sledge hammer without having to pick up a battering ram in its place? No, I cannot.

This is no vain need to conquer or control. It’s not about power or authority. It’s about my Father pushing me here, handing me a sledge hammer, and whispering in my ear, “This is what I want you to do: Knock these down.” So I bang away at the walls erected before me, and I let myself remember why I’m doing it. And I tearfully show my Father my blisters and splinters. And I scream at the barriers and those who built them.

And I know that I was given the sledge hammer for a reason.

The walls have names: Tradition and Ceremony. They must, must, MUST come down. Too often we turn to them for comfort, as though their open embrace will somehow save us from ourselves. We hold our arms wide and wobble toward them like toddlers on unsteady legs knowing that one or the other will catch us when we fall.

Tradition and Ceremony aren’t always bad. We find comfort in knowing what will happen and what is expected. They give us a sense of belonging to something bigger than us. Here’s the problem: Like a benign tumor left unchecked, Tradition and Ceremony will kill us.

We become complacent in Tradition. We feel important with Ceremony. And we set aside the real reason for both.

Today my arms are tired from swinging my hammer. Tomorrow they will be, too. I might even need to melt into diva mode. But I’ll keep swinging because it’s the job I was given, and I’ll welcome anybody who cares to join me.


P.S. We’d love to know your thoughts; be sure to share in the comments section below. This month we will draw TEN winners from our commenters and the winners will receive one of these two  books, Hope for a Hurting Heart or To Let You Know I Care by our featured author this month, Cheryl Karpen

Kelly Heuer resides in Idaho and asserts that she is foremost a wife to her best friend and hero. Five children (plus a few extras) call her Mami, and she considers being a wife and mother to be her most important job and ministry. She is her church’s Music/AV Coordinator and serves as a song leader among other roles as needed. A missionary kid, Kelly lived in the Dominican Republic for 14 years learning to read and translate legal documents in both Spanish and English. She says one of the most important revelations of her time there was learning the value of writing in alleviating the pain of both internal and external struggles. She says while others might describe her as a survivor, she calls herself a fighter, a thriver, a winner. Kelly’s heart is to help women worldwide to go beyond survival and be freed to never again fear enslavement.

Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

5 thoughts on “Sledge Hammer

  1. Dare I admit I was thinking quite similar yesterday? Sometimes the temptation to walk away from it all runs thick through my veins. Often I’m forced to examine my motivation, my life work, my destination. And then to land face-first before our Father who sees all, knows all, and loves all…in spite of us.

    Go ahead and swing, girl. We’ll catch you 🙂

    • Do you ever find yourself asking, “Am I really doing this for God?” Every now and then I have to examine what I’m doing and why. And then hand it over and trust that God will take it away if it’s not for me or straighten me up if I’m doing it for the wrong reason.

  2. We DO find comfort in knowing what’s expected, don’t we. That’s not what we are called to though. And therein lies our challenge. I could have written every word you just posted. Isn’t it good to know we are not alone. I personally know what it feels like to be going solo at times and swinging at the walls. Walls sometimes put up by others, other times, erected by me.
    Your key words for me – my take away for today – “left unchecked” – Thank you for reminding me to keep tradition and ceremony always in check before me.
    Thank you,


    • I was taught, growing up, to question everything, especially that which I thought I already knew. I don’t know if that was an intentional lesson or not, but there it was. I believe it is our responsibility to question everything, especially Tradition and Ceremony. So many times they become so ingrained in us that we confuse them for actual scripture. I know I’m guilty of that and, quite frequently, the first walls to be brought down are my own. I can’t say that I like that.

      I’m glad you were able to take something away today. It’s very humbling, intimidating, and inspiring. Thank you!


  3. Great visual, Kelly! You still have youth and strength on your side to swing that sledgehammer. These days I use the average household hammer because it’s easier to lift. Someday I’ll have to trade it in for a little nail tapper; then perhaps comes the plastic toy version. As long as there’s breathe in me God will allow the spontaneous wall building for my spiritual exercise and whatever He has in mind for those whose walls I just messed up. I type with with sore heads for all pounding on the Because-that’s-how-we’ve-always-done-it Wall earlier today. Never give up!

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